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Tornado Alley Armor Safe Rooms AwesomeBlog!

Your Comprehensive Guide to Severe Weather Protection! Safe Rooms, Tornado Storm Shelters, FEMA Standards & Grant Programs, National Storm Shelter Association News, Site Selection, Installation Guides, Tips from the Pros....and more!

Can a tornado safe room be installed inside a closet?

We have customers ask us if our tornado safe rooms can be installed inside a closet and the answer is Yes! Stop by our showroom in Irving,Texas to see our great displays. Sometimes there isn't room in a garage, or sometimes there simply isn't a garage to install it in. With Tornado Alley Armor in Irving, Texas you don't have to take up precious space in your garage. If you have a spare bedroom, laundry room, or even a hallway closet we can bring the parts in one panel at a time and assemble your safe room in place. No tearing out walls or taking off part of the outside of your home. Some cities have requirements about still being able to park two cars in the garage, or other restrictions. This option is especially helpful in this case. If you just aren't sure where to install your tornado storm shelter give us a call and we'll be happy to help you figure it out. Toll free 855-552-7667. Don't forget that our website is also packed full of information. The main page is www.tornadoalleyarmor.com.
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Are tornado storm shelters waterproof?

Are storm shelters waterproof?   While there are no large holes or gaps in our tornado shelters, they cannot be “water proof.” Neither above ground or below ground shelters can guarantee that water will not get inside because every shelter has some kind of ventilation. This makes it impossible to keep out moisture, sometimes resulting in a damp storm shelter. However, our storm shelters have a powder coated finish, which means they are designed for the outdoors, but they are still not 100% water proof. When a customer is looking to put their tornado shelter outside their home without any kind of covering, we recommend upgrading to our weatherizing options. The first option we have is to add weather stripping. This will help prevent water from coming in where the panels meet up and where the bolts are placed. The second option we have is to add our 22 gauge shed roof. This roof does not add any more structural support, but it will help prevent rain from falling directly onto your tornado shelter. The prices for these options will vary depending on the size of safe room you choose, but all prices can be found on our website in our online store. Please feel free to give us a call toll free at 1.855.552.7667 or stop by one of our locations if you have any other questions!
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I have a ceramic tile floor inside my home and want to have a tornado storm shelter installed on top of it. I want a bolt together above ground steel safe room. Can this be done?

Q: I have a ceramic tile floor inside my home and want to have a tornado storm shelter installed on top of it. I want a bolt together above ground steel safe room. Can this be done? A: Great question! As long as your tile floor has a standard reinforced slab underneath it we can do it! At Tornado Alley Armor Safe Rooms we can anchor right through your existing ceramic tile floor without having to pull it up or put cracks in your tile floor. We drill through the existing tile and into the concrete reinforced slab underneath to anchor your storm shelter. The anchors install right through the tile and into the slab underneath.   Here are a few pictures of a recent installation we provided in Arlington, TX. Jim was nice enough to pose for a photo with his 3 adult Champion safe room after we finished installing his safe room. Questions? Give us a call toll free at 855-55-ARMOR or send a message to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..  
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How long does it take to install a bolt together above ground tornado shelter?

I ordered a storm shelter from Tornado Alley Armor Safe Rooms and am wondering how much time I need to set aside for the installation. It really depends on the size tornado shelter you ordered and where we will be installing it. If you ordered one of our smaller safe rooms plan on it taking about 2 hours. That time range would cover the smallest 3 adult Champion safe room, the 5 adult Defender safe room, and the 7 adult Rampart safe room installed in your garage. If you are having us install your storm shelter in a closet, office, or other room inside your home it will take almost twice as long. Having walls, halls, and tight areas to work around takes longer. But, if you ordered a 10 adult Guardian, a 15 adult Protector, or larger just add another hour to hour and a half to the installation time for a garage install. Double that for an indoor install. We can be flexible to accommodate your schedule. Need an evening or weekend appointment for your install? No problem. We can take care of it! We'll call you as soon as we have your safe room ready for installation and set up a time that's convenient for you. Give us a call if you have any questions! 855-55-ARMOR
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Want your storm shelter in a closet? Tornado Alley Armor safe rooms can be installed in walk-in or standard closets.

    Tornado Alley Armor safe rooms can be installed in a walk-in closet, pantry, bedroom, storage room, etc. We have showrooms in both Dallas Texas and Tulsa Oklahoma. You can see them in person! Our bolt together design allows the panels and other components to be carried in one at a time and assembled inside a closet or any other room in your home. Your home must be on a reinforced slab foundation, or we can pour a slab where you want it to be installed if you don’t already have one. Keep in mind that you won’t lose any usable space because the safe room will be able to accommodate shelves and even a hanging rod to still be able to hang clothes in like any other closet. Some of our customers hang clothes rods inside and use the storm shelter for a closet; some put shelves inside and make utility rooms out of them. With Tornado Alley Armor the possibilities are endless! Another great feature we offer is being able to use the storm shelter as a panic room. If you are able to find space inside your home for your Tornado Alley Armor safe room you’ll be steps ahead of an intruder while making your way to safety inside your home, rather than having to make it to the garage or even outdoors to be able to lock yourself in your safe room while you call for help. Yes, your cell phone will work inside our tornado shelters. Have questions? Give us a call at 855-55-ARMOR or check out our main page at www.tornadoalleyarmor.com for lots of very educational information. Check out our Youtube video that shows a Defender 5 adult safe room installed inside a closet that was actually smaller than the safe room before the...
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Where is the best place to install an above ground storm shelter?

Weather authorities used to say to stay away from the southwest corner of your house because they believed that was where the tornado would strike the hardest. Today we now know that just isn't true. The truth is, no one place is any safer against a tornado than another. The most important thing to remember is if you don’t have an above ground safe room stay as far away from windows as possible and get to an interior room of your house. If you do not have a storm shelter, the NOAA says the safest place is... “In a house with no basement, a dorm, or an apartment: Avoid windows. Go to the lowest floor, small center room…” If you have a Tornado Alley Armor Safe Room, because of our bolt together design and our manufacturing process; it can be installed anywhere inside your home, garage, or even outside. A safe room can be installed on any standard reinforced concrete slab or base of adequate mass and geometry, indoors or outdoors. It can not be installed on a raised floor, but there are many other alternate locations with concrete that may qualify. As far as protection from a tornado it really doesn't matter where you install your tornado shelter. There isn't one area that will be any safer than another once you’re inside, other than not going outside to get to your storm shelter if it’s at all possible to install it in your garage or other room inside your home. FEMA recommends not having to go outside to get to safety because then you’re risking getting hit by flying debris while you’re trying to get across the yard. Have any questions? Please call us at 855-55-ARMOR toll free or you can email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..   Thanks!
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Can you install your above ground storm shelters in a closet, den, bedroom, or office?

I want to buy a tornado shelter but don’t want to have to put it in the garage or outdoors. Do you have any other options? We sure do! As long as your house is on a standard reinforced slab foundation we can install your above ground storm shelter in any room that has at least the dimensions of the Tornado Alley Armor Safe Room that you pick out. Just an example: We had some customers that wanted to put their above ground tornado shelter in the spare bedroom closet but the closet was actually 1 inch too wide and too deep. By taking out the sheetrock they ended up with the exact dimensions of our Defender 5 adult safe room and we were able to install it there. We’ve installed lots of our safe rooms in lots of different areas indoors. You may want to consider a computer room, spare bedroom, den, walk-in closet, hall closet, or even your living room. Sometimes the existing door of a closet lines up just right to our safe room door, and sometimes the closet door needs to be widened. If you’re unsure about our storm shelter being able to fit in your space feel free to give us a call and we can help. You don’t have to be in the Tulsa, OK area to do this. We’ve had people as far away as New York, Alabama, Ohio, and Texas email sketches, send pictures, and include measurements and were able to accomplish getting their storm shelter in the space they wanted without having to see it in person first. Want to look into it? Give us a call toll free at 855-55-ARMOR or email us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and we can come up with a solution together.   Here’s a link to our Facebook...
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Storm Shelter and Safe Room Concrete Slab Guidelines

In a previous blog we referred to a "standard reinforced concrete slab of adequate mass and geometry" for an acceptable anchoring location for safe rooms. So what the heck did we mean by that? "A STANDARD REINFORCED CONCRETE SLAB": As a general rule, if the slab you're considering is less than 40-50 years old or so, it's most likely a "standard reinforced concrete slab". The newer the slab, the higher the probability that it is of suitable construction for a safe room. That means a few things are most likely true: The slab has most likely been inspected by a building inspector during construction to ensure it meets local building codes The concrete mixture used is most likely classified as 3000# or greater test strength, which meets FEMA and NSSA recommendations The slab is most likely 4" thick or more. (Contractors often use 2x4's or 2x6's to frame in the area of a new slab pour and fill to the top of the boards) The slab most likely has rebar, 6x6 wire mesh (aka "hogwire") or post-tension cables present, which is inbedded in the slab during the slab pour At Tornado Alley Armor, we use electronic sensing devices designed specifically to detect steel embedded in concrete. It detects steel as deep as 6" below the surface of the concrete, and allows us to easily determine not only the presence of steel, but also which type of steel reinforcement was used in the slab and where it lies within the concrete. We also check the thickness of the slab. NOTE: We DO NOT do anything to compromise the integrity or warranty of post-tension cable slabs! "OF ADEQUATE MASS AND GEOMETRY": Even though the slab may qualify as "standard reinforced", it still needs to have an adequate mass, shape and configuration to effectively...
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Storm Shelter and Above Ground Safe Room Installation Locations

Question: Can I install an above ground safe room in my home with a crawl space? Answer:   First, let’s define the general types of residential construction: Slab on grade: A concrete slab is poured in a properly prepared area with the slab sitting directly on the ground. It is often designed to be thicker around the perimeter to support the weight of the walls. Walls and structure are fastened directly to the concrete floor. Raised floor: Also known as crawl space, pier and beam, footer and stem wall. Wooden floor joists and decking are built on top of concrete piers and stem wall, with an air space between the soil and the floor. The raised floor, stem wall and piers provide support for the walls and a “crawl space” underneath. Basement: A combination of slab and raised floor construction, with the slab poured far enough below grade to allow walking height space between the slab below and floor joists above. Modular or Mobile Homes: Wooden floors and structure are built on top of steel I-beams suitable for over the road transportation. The I-beams are typically set on concrete blocks or piers. Of the four types of construction listed above, and assuming building codes were followed, only the slab on grade method provides an adequate base throughout the structure on which to anchor a safe room. However, there are exceptions and alternate location possibilities: Homes with basements are candidates for indoor safe rooms as long as the installation is limited to the concrete basement floor; or An adequate slab can be found elsewhere, such as a garage floor, driveway, carport, patio, or shop floor; or A slab or base engineered specifically for that purpose is installed. So to summarize, a safe room can be installed on any standard reinforced concrete...
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